Seasonal fish on the Christmas table

December 21st, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Last Saturday, while a frenzy of packing and last minute Christmas shopping was hitting my small household so that we could be ready to go for our flight to Morocco on Sunday, I had given up on publishing THE recipe I had wished to share with you before Christmas… That was without counting on the deep coat of snow that covered the Netherlands and neighboring countries on Sunday, plunging this part of Europe into chaos. No need to say that there was a long scary ride under the snow, a lot of queuing and waiting at the airport and of course no flight to Morocco or to about anywhere else that day.

Snow in Hoog Keppel (1)
Somewhere in Hoog Keppel, far, far away from the Moroccan sun…

Well we are still here in snowy Holland, but to see the things on the bright side: I had the occasion to enjoy a stroll in the untouched snow this morning, we managed to find another ticket for tomorrow (fingers crossed…), and I still get to share with you the perfect Christmas recipe for fish lovers. A fluffy fillet of monk fish*, my favorite fish, marinated in fresh herbs and wrapped in parma ham, roasted in the oven (inspired by a recipe from Masterchefs**) and served on a bed of red wine risotto.

Monkfish wrapped in prosciutto on a bed of red wine risotto

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Spring, asparagus and zucchini

May 15th, 2006 § 0 comments § permalink

Last friday, in the end of the afternoon, I was just back from the local supermarket with an empty basket, depressed from the lack of choice and determined not to cook that night when my dutchie called: his father was paying us a surprise visit… He had something to celebrate! Good timing as I had prepared my dish for the next Blog Apetit event! It was perfect for a celebration and I would have two guinea pigs instead of one! I won’t get into details now (I will tell you all about it on the 23rd of may). However, I can tell you that it is a starter. The main dish was another story: the fridge was almost empty except from a few veal sausages and luckily some fresh zuchini and green asparagus. No way I would go back to the shop though… There was nothing inspiring to find there anyway! I first thought to keep it simple and serve the sausages with the vegetables sauteed and some plain rice. My dutchie is often complaining that I overdo it when we have guests! For sure I will prove him wrong this time… That was counting without the Champagne! After a happy and animated borrel* with the three of us I thought I would get started with the dinner. Starter ready to serve, oven on, vegetables cleaned and chopped, water for the rice… Maybe it was the golden champagne bubbles… a naughty little voice inside of me suggested I couldn’t just serve plain rice and sausages after such a nice drink and starter! I looked around my kitchen: rice, zucchinis, asparagus! And there was still some home made chicken stock in the fridge… There was room for a little twist in my cooking plans. Happy again, I got started. 20 minutes later dinner was on the table. My dutchie’s father served himself three times!


Spring zucchini and asparagus risotto
(risotto printanier aux courgettes blanches et pointes d’asperges)

3 pers. prep: 10 min cook.:20 min

2 white zucchini (light green in fact)
100 g green asperge tips
1 shallot
~300g basmati rice (risotto experts… do not scream: I had no arborio or risotto rice around!)
50 g parmezan cheese (grate it youself, it tastes so much better)
a few chive sprigs
1 Tsp. olive oil
a knob of butter
sea salt, pepper
2dl dry white wine (I used the chardonnay we started after the champagne)
5dl chicken stock
Chop the shallot and cut the zucchinis in small pieces. Warm up the stock. In a big pan, put half of the olive oil to heat. Add the shallot and after a few minutes the rice. Stir. When the rice is translucid, cover with the wine and some stock (my stock was well seasoned so I didn’t add extra salt). Stir and lower the fire. Stir regularly and add some stock whenever it starts to dry out. Cook until the rice gets tender (about 15 min). In the mean time, heat the rest of the olive oil in a skillet. When the pan is hot add the zucchini and aparagus tips, season with salt and pepper. Stir fry for 5 min. Set aside. When the risotto is about ready add the vegetables and stir. Then add the grated cheese, the knob of butter, the chives and season to taste with fresh grinded pepper. Stir energically and serve immediately.Bon appétit!

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